It is an honour to be appointed as Shadow Minister for Young Australians and Youth Affairs, and Shadow Minister for Employment Services, Workforce Participation and Future of Work.
Young people deserve a voice in government, and I am grateful to Bill Shorten for elevating this portfolio. I am also very pleased to be succeeding my friend the Hon Ed Husic MP in the employment services, workforce participation and future of work portfolio. We are at a time of great change in the Australian economy, and coming to grips with the future of work is of crucial importance.
I congratulate my colleague, the Hon Linda Burney MP, on her appointment as Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services, and her elevation to Shadow Cabinet. She is a strong and empathetic leader, and our caucus is fortunate to have her.
I congratulate Ed on his appointment as Shadow Minister for Human Services and Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy, Senator Louise Pratt on taking up her new portfolios, and Senator Jenny McAllister on her appointment as a Shadow Assistant Minister. I look forward to continuing to work with all of them.
I am excited to be continuing the fight against Mr Turnbull and the LNP’s war on young people, and to be taking on new responsibilities in employment.
Australians are sick of Mr Turnbull’s arrogant and out-of-touch approach to employment services.
The PaTH program is broken, people are facing increasingly insecure work, and young people don’t know what the jobs landscape will look like for them.
I am pleased to be part of a strong, unified alternative government. Australians deserve better than the current government and I look forward to serving in a Shorten Labor Government.
TUESDAY, 21 AUGUST 2018
Last night, Senator Anning showed what he and Katter’s Australia Party really stand for.
Not only did he advocate for a return to the White Australia policy, and emulate Nazi dogma, he attacked gender diverse and young LGBTIQ Australians.
In what can only be described as a disgusting and disgraceful attack on diversity and inclusion, Senator Anning described gender fluidity and the Safe Schools program as ‘garbage’.
It is unacceptable that, in 2018, a member of the Parliament of Australia thinks that it’s acceptable to denigrate some of society’s most vulnerable people.
16 per cent of young LGBTIQ people have attempted suicide, and that figure rises to 48 per cent in trans and gender nonconforming people.
Senator Anning’s comments do nothing to help these numbers.
Safe Schools is not garbage. Gender fluidity is not garbage. Preaching hate and bigotry is.
**For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Other services include Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467, Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636, Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800, MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978 **
WEDNESDAY, 15 AUGUST 2018
Today marks one year since the government party room decided to conduct a damaging, expensive, and divisive postal survey on the rights of LGBTIQ Australians.
Labor blocked the marriage plebiscite in the Senate because we knew that a public vote on human rights would be wasteful, and more importantly, harmful.
Mr Turnbull and the Liberals could have legislated for marriage equality by allowing a free vote in the Parliament. But they didn’t. Instead, they went against the will of the Australian people, and the Parliament, and conducted a postal survey.
What followed for the next two months can only be described as a disgrace.
Members of the LGBTIQ community were forced to ask their fellow Australians for the right to marry.
But they organised, they campaigned, and they won.
When marriage equality finally became law on the 7th of December, four months after the postal survey was announced, I know that LGBTIQ Australians, their friends, their families, and all who love them, breathed a sigh of relief.
The campaign for LGBTIQ equality is not over, but the passage of marriage equality was an incredibly important step.
TUESDAY, 7 AUGUST 2018
With Senator the Hon Doug Cameron
Today’s release of Mission Australia’s 2017 Youth Survey results is a reminder of the Turnbull Government’s failure to address housing affordability and homelessness for young people.
According to the report, nearly 1 in 6 young people surveyed have experienced a type of homelessness. This includes time with no fixed address, living in a refuge or transitional accommodation, and time spent couch surfing.
Homelessness has significant flow-on effects, particularly for young people, who experience higher incidence of self-injury and attempted suicide, a greater likelihood of leaving school early, and significantly higher unemployment rates than their peers.
Successive Liberal governments have comprehensively failed young people on housing. Instead of addressing homelessness they are seeking to give the big banks a $17 billion handout.
Labor has a plan to make housing more affordable and address homelessness, including boosting support for vulnerable Australians.
A Shorten Labor Government will provide $88 million over two years for a new Safe Housing Fund to increase transitional housing options for women and children escaping domestic and family violence and young people exiting out-of-home care.
The Turnbull Government needs to stop waging war on young people. Young Australians are sick of this arrogant and out of touch Prime Minister and they deserve more.
WEDNESDAY, 1 AUGUST 2018
Terri Butler MP welcomes the release of Universities Australia’s guidelines for university responses to sexual assault and harassment as part of the Respect.Now.Always. initiative.
“Labor welcomes the release of these guidelines which will help universities across Australia better respond to sexual harassment and assault,” Ms Butler said.
“This is the first substantive step in the peak body’s ten-point plan which was released in August last year.
“We expect every university to fully implement the guidelines developed by Universities Australia.
“It’s been nearly a year since the Australian Human Rights Commission released Change the Course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities. All Australian universities should be working hard to implement all of the recommendations contained in that confronting report.
“No one should feel unsafe at university, or anywhere.
“Universities must make it a priority to provide a safe environment for their students,” Ms Butler said.
FRIDAY, 20 JULY 2018
The Turnbull government’s atrocious record when comes to youth unemployment and youth underemployment has been exposed by a report from the Reserve Bank of Australia.
The RBA’s research shows how tough it is for young people when it comes to jobs.
The RBA has pointed out that youth unemployment is 7% above the national unemployment rate.
The RBA has also said that young workers are not getting the hours they want. On average young workers would prefer to get another eleven hours’ work a week.
I am deeply concerned by recent comments made by the new head of the Australian Christian Lobby, Martyn Iles, in relation to gay conversion therapy.
Gay conversion therapy is a practice which is not only outdated, but completely discredited and dangerous.
For many young people, it can be difficult enough coming to grips with the fact that they aren’t heterosexual or cisgender.
The last thing they need is for groups like the ACL to try to “counsel” them. What they need is support.
Mr Turnbull needs to send a message to young LGBTIQ people that they aren’t broken and don’t need to be fixed. He should unequivocally condemn this shameful, toxic practice.
TUESDAY, 3 JULY 2018
It’s an honour to be appointed as Shadow Assistant Minister for Young Australians and Youth Affairs, and to continue my appointments as Shadow Assistant Minister for Universities and Shadow Assistant Minister for Equality.
I have valued the opportunity to hold portfolio responsibilities in relation to family and domestic violence since 2015.
Family and domestic violence is a national crisis. I am very pleased that the Hon Linda Burney MP will be taking on the responsibility for leading Labor’s work in responding to that crisis, in a newly-created shadow ministerial role.
Linda will be an empathetic, strong, and effective advocate for victims and survivors of family and domestic violence.
I am excited to be taking up the fight for young people as Bill Shorten’s shadow assistant minister.
Australians are sick of the Liberals’ war on young people.
Since this arrogant and out-of-touch government was elected in 2013, they have been launching attack after attack on young Australians, including:
- slashing billions from uni, TAFE and skills funding;
- cutting homelessness funding, and failing to do what’s needed to make housing more affordable;
- failing to protect young workers’ penalty rates, which are now being cut;
- forcing young jobseekers into the exploitative PaTH program.
THURSDAY 28 JUNE
Federal Labor welcomes the Palaszczuk Government’s announcement of an additional $133 million to respond to family and domestic violence.
I congratulate the Police Minister Mark Ryan and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer on the announcement of 24 new specialist Police officers across the state, to be backed with a $133 million commitment to assist victims and survivors.
The announcement of additional refuges is particularly welcome, as is the support for frontline services.
Overall the Palaszczuk Government is investing $328.9 million over six years from 2015-16 to implement the recommendations from the Not Now, Not Ever report.
Federal Labor has committed more than $130 million to respond to family violence. Labor’s commitments include:
- $88 million for a Safe Housing Fund to increase housing options for women and children escaping domestic and family violence;
- $43 million for legal assistance in family law proceedings to ensure victims of violence can’t be cross-examined by perpetrators;
- Providing a workplace right to ten days’ paid domestic violence leave;
- Making image-based abuse a crime, and criminalising the covert installation of surveillance apps;
- Reporting to the Parliament on progress addressing family violence as part of the annual gender equality update.
THURSDAY, 31 MAY
The Attorney-General’s announcement today to combine the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court falls short of addressing family violence, Terri Butler said.
“Family violence features in a high proportion of contested cases – 41%, according to former Family Court Chief Justice Diana Bryant, and any attempt to overhaul family law courts must acknowledge that,” she said.
“Real change, not just administrative rearrangement, is needed to respond to this challenge.
“Cross examination reform must happen urgently. To work properly, cross-examination reform must be accompanied by legal assistance funding. That is why Labor has committed to providing more than $40 million to protect victims and survivors from being cross-examined by alleged perpetrators personally – and instead providing for both parties to be legally represented.
“The government must also address judicial resourcing and appointments. Vacancies must be filled and capacity increased. In appointing new judges, the government must address the present underrepresentation of women on the Federal Circuit Court, and must take into account experience in family law, and expertise in relation to, family violence.
“The government must take into account concerns expressed in the recent unanimous Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee report into family law and family violence, including the importance of improving arrangements in relation to family report writers.
“The government must also explain why the courts’ family violence work plan, which expired in 2016, has not yet been updated, and commit to working with the new court to ensure that the family violence best practice principles are kept up to date with contemporary understandings of family violence, informed by the evidence-base being developed under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children 2010 – 2022,” Terri Butler said.
WEDNESDAY, 30 MAY 2018